“Are You Lonesome Tonight” by Des Cox
With a moderate swagger behind its swing, “Are You Lonesome Tonight” begins to play, immediately taking us back in time to a simpler era in pop that is only slightly recognizable in the modern renditions of its sound. “Are You Lonesome Tonight” has traveled a long way through history to find itself under the direction of one Des Cox this February, and although it’s a recognizable Elvis piece that is and always will be a cover, it somehow feels like one of the most meaningful – and humorous – performances of Cox’s budding career. This isn’t the first time that I’ve heard someone try and put their own mark on a classic tune like this one, but it ranks among the best I’ve come across in a long time.
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One of the best things about this version of “Are You Lonesome Tonight” is the openness of the master mix, leaving more than enough space for the live audience to have a great effect on the energy of the performance overall. There’s something simply magical about a crowd reacting with excitement to the performance of a heartfelt player like Des Cox that sends chills down my spine every time I listen to this single, and because of the meticulousness that went into designing even the more intricate elements of the track, we’re never robbed of any natural tonality or artistic zeal. It’s as though we’re in the concert hall with them, as opposed to reliving the moment through a pair of average speakers.
I will say that the backend in this piece feels a little heavier than it actually needed to be, but this is ultimately an excusable flaw given just how much action there is to focus on up front. Cox doesn’t develop one-dimensional content; he proved a decade ago that he has an ear for the erudite, and when constructing a restyled version of “Are You Lonesome Tonight,” he was careful to make sure that his voice wasn’t the only communicator of emotionality in the song. Even the rhythm of the guitar becomes an agent of evocation before all is said and done, and if you would have told me that it would be as powerful a component as it is in this cover just a month ago, I don’t know that I could have believed you.
“Are You Lonesome Tonight” concludes with a roaring audience affectionately responding to the performance they’ve just been given as everything fades into the silence from which it was first sprung. There aren’t any bells and whistles here, much as there weren’t any at the initial start of the track. Des Cox is above the filler-based songcraft of his less than brilliant peers, and in this take on “Are You Lonesome Tonight,” he puts himself well above the competition not only through a precise attack but a natural kinship with the material. In short, this is by far one of the most dedicated covers I think you’re going to hear before the start of the spring season – if not throughout all of 2021 itself.
The music of Des Cox has been heard all over the world in partnership with the radio plugging services offered by Musik and Film Radio Promotions Division. Learn more https://musikandfilm.com